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Introduction by His Excellency Karel van Oosterom,

Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands


of draft General Assembly Resolution A/68/L.59,
Report of the International Criminal Court
9 september 2014
Thank you Mr President,
I have the honour to introduce, under agenda item 75, the draft
resolution A/68/L.59, entitled Report of the International
Criminal Court. In addition to the six countries listed in
document A/68/L.59, which contains the text of the draft
resolution, 60 countries
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have indicated their wish to be included
as sponsors of the resolution. It is my understanding that the
Secretariat will read out the names of the countries involved.
This brings the total number of sponsors to 66.
On 31 October 2013, the President of the International Criminal
Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, presented the ninth annual report
of the International Criminal Court to this body. We had a very
constructive and in-depth debate then, and I would like to
highlight a few elements.
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Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile,
Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland,
Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia,
Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea,
Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland, Timor Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Uruguay
First, in order to ensure the Courts success, universal adherence
to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court remains
essential. With 122 States that have ratified or acceded to the
Rome Statute, almost two thirds of the membership of the United
Nations have shown their commitment towards universality. It is
our sincere hope that others will join in the near future.
In the second place I would like to highlight that the situation
with respect to the outstanding arrest warrants remains deeply
troubling. The Court remains reliant on State cooperation in the
enforcement of its orders and decisions. If States do not provide
the cooperation necessary for the Courts functioning in
accordance with their legal obligations, it will not be able to fulfil
its mandate, and impunity will continue to flourish. The
cooperation of States, international organizations and civil society
is essential to the Courts functioning. Cooperation is crucial not
only in relation to the arrest and surrender of accused persons,
but also in relation to the provision of evidence, the protection
and relocation of victims and witnesses, and the enforcement of
sentences. We are therefore pleased that the United Nations has
continued over the past year to assist the Court in its endeavors
through implementation of the Relationship Agreement. We also
welcome the assistance provided so far by States parties and
non-States parties and call on all States to continue to support
the Courts efforts in that respect.
Thirdly, I would like to remind that the hallmark of the Court is its
independent judicial nature. At the same time, that judicial
institution operates within the political world and it needs States
to not just cooperate with it, but also to respect, to protect and to
enhance its judicial independence.
Fourthly, my Government welcomes the recent visit of the United
Nations Security Council to The Hague to meet amongst others
with the International Criminal Court. Practical follow up of that
visit to further enhance the relationship is called for.
Fifth and finally, the International Criminal Courts annual report
and the debate in the General Assembly also underlined the role
of the Court in our common efforts to build an international
community characterized not only by the rule of law and respect
for human rights, but also by peace and security. Sustainable
peace cannot be achieved if perpetrators of the most serious
crimes are not brought to justice. Peace and justice are
complementary requirements. Peace and justice also serve as
essential conditions that further the development of nations
recovering from conflict: research has demonstrated that those
nations that have come to terms with wrongdoings of the past
are better equipped to make progress and advance than those
that remain unable to deal with crimes from the past.
The Netherlands takes pride in being the host state to the
International Criminal Court and many other leading international
legal institutions. The Netherlands reiterates its commitment to
be your partner in the pursuit of peace, justice and development.
Three fundamental pillars that, as I mentioned before, are
inseparable and that can not be attained in isolation. We stand
ready to continue to work with you in achieving our common
objectives in these areas.
Allow me now to turn to the draft resolution itself, which serves
three main objectives.
First, it provides political support for the International Criminal
Court as an organization and for its mandate, its aims and the
work it carries out.
Secondly, it underlines the importance of the relationship
between the Court and the United Nations on the basis of the
Relationship Agreement as both the United Nations and the ICC
have an equally central role in enhancing the system of
international criminal justice.
Lastly, the draft resolution serves to remind States and
international and regional organizations of the need to cooperate
with the International Criminal Court in carrying out its tasks.
Mr President,
Allow me to thank all delegations which participated in the
negotiations for their constructive cooperation and flexibility
shown in the negotiations of this draft.
The Netherlands hopes that the draft resolution will be adopted
by consensus and that it will lead to even greater support for the
Court in the fight against impunity and its attempts to hold the
perpetrators of serious crimes accountable for their actions.